False comments are attributed to political candidates after someone steals their Web site password

Incident Date: October 21 2004
Incident Location: Finland

False and disparaging comments attributed to two Finnish National Coalition Party political candidates were posted on a Web site October 21 2004, just three days before elections in Finland. The Web site was maintained by Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE and provided a forum for candidates to submit answers to questions that were important to voters. The comments attributed to the candidates were none too flattering, with distinctively racist and sexist content.

A project manager at YLE reported that a criminal somehow obtained Web site passwords associated with the Finnish National Coalition Party. The passwords allowed them to gain unauthorized access to the Web site and forge answers for the two candidates, who hadnít completed answering the questionnaire.

The YLE site webmaster apparently wasnít notified of the problem until the eve of the election, at which point they removed the false statements. The two candidates failed to win their respective elections, but there is no evidence that the false comments directly affected the outcome.

The comments were traced back to a computer in a public library. Police are investigating the crime, but do not have specific suspects at the time of this report.


Story Sources

Title: Election candidates' web pages hacked during Finnish election
Author: Erka Koivunen
Date: 10/28/2004
Publication: RISKS Digest 23.58
Account of a story published in Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat on October 27, 2004
Publication Location: Finland
Publication URL: http://www.helsinginsanomat.fi/tuoreet/artikkeli/1076154360595


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